Archive for May, 2018


May 31, 2018

Virtue_largeHere is the next demotivator for your viewing pleasure . . . and speaking of virtue, it reminds me of a quotation that my father was fond of repeating: “Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can, seldom found in woman, never found in man.”  Attributed to Father Jonathan Morris, a Roman Catholic priest (born in Ohio, as was my father, but now living in New York).

Woe Is Me!

May 30, 2018

Today’s word seems to have nothing but negative connotations . . . which in my opinion makes this a wretched word (figuratively as well as literally).


\ rech-id \, adjective;

1. very unfortunate in condition or circumstances; miserable; pitiable.
2. characterized by or attended with misery and sorrow.
3. despicable, contemptible, or mean.
4. poor, sorry, or pitiful; worthless.


Other words you may consider using (depending on your context/usage, of course):

Source: The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich. Definitions courtesy of

Your Sales Tax is How High?!

May 29, 2018

Sales taxes (combined state and local sales tax rates) vary widely from state to state.  Do you know how your state fares?  Here are the most-taxed states as well as the least-taxed states courtesy of the May 2018 AARP Bulletin (sales tax rates as of January 1, 2018).

Highest Taxes
1. Louisiana (10.0%)
2. Tennessee (9.5%)
3. Arkansas (9.4%)
4. Washington (9.2%)
5. Alabama (9.1%)
6. Oklahoma (8.9%)
7. Kansas (8.7%)
7. Illinois (8.7%)
9.  New York (8.5%)
9. California (8.5%)
10. Arizona (8.3%)

Lowest Taxes
1. Montana (0.0%)
1. Oregon (0.0%)
1. (Delaware (0.0%)
1. New Hampshire (0.0%)
5. Alaska (1.8%)
6. Hawaii (4.4%)
7. Wisconsin (5.4%)
8. Wyoming (5.5%)
9. Virginia (5.6%)
10. Maryland (6.0%)
10. Kentucky (6.0%)
10. Idaho (6.0%)
10. Michigan (6.0%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, May 2018, p. 36; The Tax Foundation.  Note: the local sales tax was computed by averaging across the entire state.

Memorial Day, 2018!

May 28, 2018

Today we honor those who died while serving in our country’s armed forces.  What better honor than through the words of others . . . here  are some notable quotations from over the years:

  • “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”  — Nathan Hale, American patriot
  • “The beginning of the end of war lies in remembrance.” – Herman Wouk
  • “It is foolish and wrong to mourn them who died.  Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”  — General George S. Patton
  • “That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” — Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863
  • “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land….” — General John A. Logan
  • “Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.” — General Logan, 1868
  • “Let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.” — General Logan, 1868
  • “This Memorial Day, on which we decorate their graves with the tokens of love and affection, is no idle ceremony with us, to pass away an hour; but it brings back to our minds in all their vividness the fearful conflicts of that terrible war in which they fell as victims…. Let us, then, all unite in the solemn feelings of the hour, and tender with our flowers the warmest sympathies of our souls! Let us revive our patriotism and love of country by this act, and strengthen our loyalty by the example of the noble dead around us….”  — General Logan, May 30, 1870
  • “All of us hope and pray that the time will come when we no longer need to dedicate memorials to men who died in battle–that we will dedicate memorials to those who live in peace–to all nations and all men.” — Senator Frank G. Moss, USS Utah Memorial ground breaking, December 7, 1971
  • “The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden.” — Ronald Reagan, Memorial Day speech, 1982
  • “To preserve the peace, we must never forget the sacrifices that have paved the way to peace.” — Bill Clinton, Memorial Day Address, 2000
  • “They defended our nation, they liberated the oppressed, they served the cause of peace. And all Americans who have known the loss and sadness of war, whether recently or long ago, can know this: The person they love and miss is honored and remembered by the United States of America.” — George W. Bush, Memorial Day Address, 2004

Architectural History!

May 27, 2018

Did you know that on this date in 1930, the Chrysler Building opened to the public and was, at the time, the tallest man-made structure in the world?  It would only hold this distinction until May 1st of the following year when it was surpassed by the Empire State Building which remained the tallest building in the world until 1970 when it was surpassed by the north tower of the World Trade Center.  It remains the tallest “brick” building in the world.  Here are some other fun facts about the Chrysler Building . . .

  • address: 405 Lexington Avenue, Manhattan, New York,  NY 10174
  • 1,046 feet tall (antenna spire)
  • 77 floors
  • Art Deco architectural style
  • 1,196,958 sq ft of area
  • 32 elevators
  •  391,881 rivets
  • 29,961 tons of steel
  • 3,826,000 bricks
  • 3,862 windows
  • the lobby contains the world’s very first digital clock
  • construction averaged four floors per week (quick!)
  • no one was killed during the construction
  • architect: William Van Alen
  • Chrysler refused to pay Van Alen (initially). Van Alen had to sue Chrysler to get paid (and did), but Van Alen’s reputation was tarnished by the incident.
  • designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976
  • designated a New York City Landmark in 1978

Some More Police Humor!

May 26, 2018

Happy Saturday!  Here is a new batch of groaners.  Enjoy!

Q.:  Why was the picture sent to jail?
A.:  It was framed.

Q.:  How many cops does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A.:  None, it turned itself in.

Q.:  Why did the chicken cross the road?
A.:  We don’t know, but give us five minutes with the chicken and we’ll find out.

A police recruit was asked during the exam, “What would you do if you
had to arrest your own mother?”
He said: “Call for backup.”

A police man pulls over a drunk driver for not stopping at a stop sign and asks the driver if he saw the stop sign. The driver replies “I did but it turned red too fast for me to stop.”

A crook rented an apartment over a police station.
He feels he is “above the law, now!”

Fun Fact Friday, Number Seventy-Seven!

May 25, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “literature.”  Do you know . . . who was the first person to say or write “ignorance is bliss”?

It would have been the first person to misquote the poet Thomas Gray.  Gray, in his “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College,” wrote “where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise.”

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.


May 24, 2018

Oxymorons (defined as “a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction”) can be used as descriptions that can totally refute or topple conventional ways of thinking.  Here are a few examples using the word “sentimentality” (defined as “the quality of being excessively or extravagantly sentimental”).

“Sentimentality is the emotional promiscuity of those who have no sentiment.”  (Norman Mailer)

“Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel.”  (James Baldwin)

“Sentimentality is the failure of feeling.”  (Wallace Stevens)

Source: oxymoronica by Dr. Martha Grode


Amazing Adjectives, Number Thirty-Four!

May 23, 2018

Here is a word from the Latin otiosis, meaning “at leisure, unemployed; out of public affairs.”  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate.

“Many of the men and women seen smoking behind the student center are not students at all, but otiose dropouts with nothing better to do.”

“You are wrong to think an action of the kind I have been discussing is otiose, rather than helpful to our cause.”


\ oh-shee-ohs, oh-tee- \, adjective;

1.  being at leisure; idle; indolent.
2.  ineffective or futile.
3.  superfluous or useless.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich and

Some Early Week Humor!

May 22, 2018

Happy Tuesday!  Everybody likes “light bulb” jokes, right? (e.g., how many x does it take to change a light bulb?)  So today, we’ll examine this from the social work discipline.

Question: How many social workers does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: One. But the light has to want to change.

Or, how about any one of these alternative answers:

  • “The light bulb doesn’t need changing, it’s the system that needs to change.”
  • None. Social workers never change anything.
  • None. They empower it to change itself!
  • None. The light bulb is not burnt out, it’s just differently lit.
  • None. They set up a team to write a paper on coping with darkness.
  • Two. One to change the bulb and another to put your kids into care.
  • Five. One to screw it in, three to form the support group, and one to help with placement.